With Steve Kerr off the table, Phil Jackson is no longer confining himself to candidates with no coaching experience. In fact, just the opposite. According to an eyewitness, Jackson met with grizzled veteran coach Mike Dunleavy for two hours Friday morning over breakfast at a downtown Chicago hotel. Jackson is in Chicago for the pre-draft combine. An NBA source confirmed the breakfast meeting and said the Brooklyn-born Dunleavy actually has used elements of the triangle during his NBA coaching stints. Dunleavy, a former NBA Coach of the Year in 1999 with the Blazers, lost to Phil Jackson’s Bulls as Lakers head coach in the 1991 Finals. Dunleavy has coached the Bucks, Blazers and Clippers, where he was coach/GM. Dunleavy was fired by the Clippers in 2010 after which he sued Donald Sterling’s club for the money left on his contract. An arbitrator ordered Sterling to pay Dunleavy $13 million in 2011. Dunleavy’s son, Mike Dunleavy, plays for the Bulls and reportedly will be on the trading block when the Bulls try to open cap space to make a run at Carmelo Anthony. Dunleavy lives near Jackson in Los Angeles and they have lunch occasionally, according to the NBA source. But the NBA source confirmed the meeting was more than a friendly get-together. Dunleavy played the facsimile of the triangle as a player with the Houston Rockets. A source close to Dunleavy said it’s unclear if he’ll be considered as a strong candidate, yet.
Veteran coach Mike Dunleavy has 2-hour breakfast with Phil Jackson
New York Post | May 17